Harsco has three market leading businesses and the Company is driving to develop and strengthen its portfolio of businesses, achieve Continuous Improvement, capture profitable growth opportunities, balance its portfolio and generate returns above its cost of capital. The Company’s focus in its Rail and Industrial Segments remains on disciplined growth organically and through acquisitions that improve the competitive positions of these businesses in core and adjacent markets. In the Company’s Metals & Minerals Segment, the focus is on maintaining capital discipline and expanding business relationships with existing and new customers. By executing these strategies, Harsco expects to realize improvements in return on invested capital (ROIC) and free cash flow in future years.
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The nature of the Company's business and the many countries in which it operates subject it to changing economic, competitive, regulatory and technological conditions, risks and uncertainties. In accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Company provides the following cautionary remarks regarding important factors that, among others, could cause future results to differ materially from the results contemplated by forward-looking statements, including the expectations and assumptions expressed or implied herein. Forward-looking statements contained herein could include, among other things, statements about management's confidence in and strategies for performance; expectations for new and existing products, technologies and opportunities; and expectations regarding growth, sales, cash flows, and earnings. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of such terms as "may," "could," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "believe," "likely," "estimate," "outlook," "plan" or other comparable terms.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ, perhaps materially, from those implied by forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (1) changes in the worldwide business environment in which the Company operates, including general economic conditions; (2) changes in currency exchange rates, interest rates, commodity and fuel costs and capital costs;(3) changes in the performance of equity and bond markets that could affect, among other things, the valuation of the assets in the Company's pension plans and the accounting for pension assets, liabilities and expenses; (4) changes in governmental laws and regulations, including environmental, occupational health and safety, tax and import tariff standards; (5) market and competitive changes, including pricing pressures, market demand and acceptance for new products, services and technologies; (6) the Company's inability or failure to protect its intellectual property rights from infringement in one or more of the many countries in which the Company operates; (7) failure to effectively prevent, detect or recover from breaches in the Company's cybersecurity infrastructure; (8) unforeseen business disruptions in one or more of the many countries in which the Company operates due to political instability, civil disobedience, armed hostilities, public health issues or other calamities; (9) disruptions associated with labor disputes and increased operating costs associated with union organization; (10) the seasonal nature of the Company's business; (11) the Company's ability to successfully enter into new contracts and complete new acquisitions or strategic ventures in the time-frame contemplated, or at all; (12) the integration of the Company's strategic acquisitions; (13) the amount and timing of repurchases of the Company's common stock, if any; (14) the outcome of any disputes with customers, contractors and subcontractors; (15) the financial condition of the Company's customers, including the ability of customers (especially those that may be highly leveraged and those with inadequate liquidity) to maintain their credit availability; (16) implementation of environmental remediation matters; (17) risk and uncertainty associated with intangible assets; and (18) other risk factors listed from time to time in the Company's SEC reports. A further discussion of these, along with other potential risk factors, can be found in Part I, Item 1A, "Risk Factors," of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. The Company cautions that these factors may not be exhaustive and that many of these factors are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict. Accordingly, forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as a prediction of actual results. The Company undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements except as may be required by law.
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